Halos in a Dark Sky: Interactively Exploring the Structure of Dark Matter Halo Merger Trees

A screen capture of our web application showing a complete dark matter halo merger tree. - Kyle Almryde, EVL/UIC

Authors: Almryde, K. R., Forbes, A. G.

Publication: In Proceedings of IEEE Scientific Visualization, SciVis Contest, “Visualize the Universe”, Chicago, IL, (Best Submission Award, 2nd Place), pp. 73–77

This paper introduces a novel web application that visualizes dark matter halo merger trees and their evolution through space and time. Our application enables users to interact with individual halos within these trees in order to perform a range of visual analysis tasks, including: identifying the substructure and superstructure of the halos; observing the movement of halos across a specified range of time steps; and comparing the branching characteristics of multiple trees. Central to our application is the ability to navigate the halos by interactively &ldquo:jumping” from tree to tree. By clearly marking halos that have “tributaries” - that is, halos that split off into multiple halos or that merge with one or more halos - we make it easy for the user to traverse the complex structure of the universe. Our application is publicly available online and runs at interactive rates on the browser.

Date: October 25, 2015 - October 30, 2015

Document: View PDF

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